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The scholarship of theology and religion teaches us that the God of the Bible was without a body, only revealing himself in the Old Testament in words mysteriously uttered through his prophets, and in the New Testament in the body of Christ. The portrayal of God as corporeal and masculine is seen as merely metaphorical, figurative, or poetic. But, in God: An Anatomy, Francesca Stavrakopoulou presents a vividly corporeal image of God: a human-shaped deity who walks and talks and weeps and laughs, who eats, sleeps, feels, and breathes, and who is undeniably male.
Here is a portrait—arrived at through the author’s close examination of and research into the Bible—of a god in ancient myths and rituals who was a product of a particular society, at a particular time, made in the image of the people who lived then, shaped by their own circumstances and experience of the world. From head to toe—and every part of the body in between—this is a god of stunning surprise and complexity, one we have never encountered before.
Francesca Stavrakopoulou is a professor of Hebrew Bible and ancient religion at the University of Exeter. A graduate of Oxford University, her focus is in the history of ancient Israel and Judah, she has also worked in television on the BBC and Channel 4, presenting shows on the historicity of the Bible and the Hebrew Bible, the role of women in biblical times and the development of the biblical text. She lives in Exeter, England.
Jack Miles pursued religious studies at Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and holds a doctorate in Near Eastern languages from Harvard University. In 2002, he was named a MacArthur Fellow, and he currently serves as Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English and Religious Studies at the University of California, Irvine, and Senior Fellow for Religion and International Affairs with the Pacific Council on International Policy. His book God: A Biography won a Pulitzer Prize. He served as editor for the Los Angeles Times Book Review and was a member of that newspaper's editorial board. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe, among many other publications. Follow him at www.JackMiles.com.